31 October 2007

Found a great new blog

I was browsing through the blogs on The Floss Box and rediscovered this one. It was recommended to me a year ago when everyone saw my work on HOHRH. It's a really well written blog. I think she needed a recommendation.

Explanation of last night's post

My computer is old and cranky. It took me 10 minutes to get those photos loaded in. I was not in the mood to keep writing after that, which stunk because I had some GOOD magazines to review. I will try to write about them tonight, after the Halloween party at Sanman board and after I get my nails fixed and done.

Anyway, the photos are of the Turkey tabletopper, which is about half-way done. I think I should make some progress on it this weekend, because I have a long day at the box office and I get time to work on it. The middle pic is of Summer Ball, by Sandy Littlejohn. I am so pathetic, because I've had this as a WIP for over a year, and it's only this far, but I did work on it at CATS and got some progress. I posted because Jennifer was looking for some info on it. It's a great pattern, I have a little story that runs through my head while I am working on it, it's just a BAP. And the third is Sleepy Hollow. I haven't had a lot of time to work on it. Last week I was thoroughly miserable, and this week I was working on the tabletopper and Mom's Christmas gift. I did, however, start the glow in the dark part. It does glow in the dark. I checked it the other night, as I was so pleased with myself. I ran out of the bathroom, and told Mom, who was, of course, less than impressed. Some people do not understand how thrilling it is to have your cross stitch project GLOW. Forget beads, metallics and all that, my project responds to the dark! Ha!

Speaoking of Mom, she saw me working on her present this morning and had to ask what it was. I told her it was a layover to catch a meddler and that I got me one, and I wasn't showing it to her. I didn't know how better to answer; I knew she was going to ask, but it's her present, she shouldn't have asked.

30 October 2007

Finally, some pics

This is the stuff I've been working on. It's really hard to take a picture of the tabletopper, but I have one!

Tried to post pics last night

But I was unsuccessful.

I started Mom's Christmas gift. As I've said before, I am doing "Herb Garden" by Little House Needleworks for her. I need to get it finished quickly, because it has to be framed. The nice thing is that, with my birthday being next week, if I can get this done, I get 10% off framing, which is great and is made better by the fact that I have a coupon for $5 off and this takes a standard frame. So hopefully, I can get it done when I go over there next week.

Oh, and I have good news, I found my fabric for JCS Winter Sampler. I must have packed it in my bag to go to CATS, and then didn't work on it. I was finally unpacking on Sunday, and found it. I can not tell you how pleased I was. That was about a $20 bag of supplies, with metallic threads, the original Anchor I bought (even if I am not using it for this project, it still cost money, and I didn't want to lose it),the hand-dyed fabric, and 2 skeins of Needle Necessities. At this point, NN is GOLD. I think the fact that I found it means it needs to go in rotation. Maybe when I get Mom's done.

29 October 2007

Some of my mojo is back

I guess it must have been the rain that was making me so . . . blah . . . on Friday. Or else getting rest. I hadn't realized just how much working my full time job, then going and working a 10 hour day on Saturday was affecting me. I did stitch over the weekend.

My birthday is next week, and it was time to renew my driver's license, so I hauled myself over to the MVA on Saturday morning. I think I hit a new record wait time. I got there at 8:42, was out at 10AM. Don't ask me why it took me 10 minutes to get my license renewed, and there were people who were sitting at the stations for a half hour. I don't understand the phoenomena. At least the computers were working; they were not working the last time I renewed, so I sat for an extra half hour that time for that reason. My picture is, of course, bad. I swear, I don't understand how I can look perfectly normal, hair be decent, and the minute that I step in front of the camera, my neck expands, my hair looks like the cat threw it up and I GRIMACE. But I'm OK with that for now. I am not sitting in the MVA and having random strangers ask me if I believe that the people in the driving test line are illegal aliens (what do I look like, like I have an IN with these people?), not for a while now.

Anyway, after that, I went to my LNS to pick up a couple things I needed. I am a member of the Sanman board, so there were some cool Halloween freebies (you need to join the board to get them)that I printed off and took in to kit up. I like Sanman designs, I've done three or 4 so far, I think she is a tremendously talented designer and so generous with her freebies; how many freebies out there are good enough to take a blue ribbon at the state fair? So because she does them, I could afford to splurge a little and buy some nicer fabrics to stitch them on. And boy did I . . . I bought 4 fat 8ths of WDW hand-dyeds to do them on, including a vibrant green that I can only describe as 'hot'. I am hoping to work on at least one of the freebies tonight. They are for a Halloween tree, and I won't get them done this year, but maybe next years . . .

And I worked on Mom's tabletopper. I made some good progress on it, but I don't like it anymore.

26 October 2007

just not feeling stitchy

I don't know if it's the weather, or I work too much, or the doctor is right and I really do have seriously elevated blood pressure, or work is depressing me, but I am just not in the mood to stitch. I worked a little bit at lunch, but I got home last night and pretty much passed out after I finished making the Halloween goody bag for my secret pal at work. I fell asleep right at 11 and didn't wake up til 7 this morning. Chancey apparently felt the same way, because she went and laid on one of the pillows, and she was on the pillow when I woke up.

I did come home to lots of stitchy packages last night. The new Stoney Creek came, there were some pretty charts in it. My friend Kathy sent me the latest WOXS--just so you know something is wrong with me, I haven't even read the magazine yet. And my latest package from 123Stitch came. I fell in love with the Queen's Bestiary from the October issue of The Gift of Stitching, but have been hemming and hawing about the fabric. But I finally sucked it up and bought the 40 count they used in the model, then bought a couple more charts. I really should not be spending money right now, for reasons I don't want to go into, but I had ordered this stuff before I found out some work news. So I am going to keep it. I got two new Blue Ribbon charts. I think I ought to stitch some of those before I buy anymore . . .

25 October 2007

SBQ 10/25/07

Do you railroad?

In a word, yes. And I can tell the difference if I don't. HOHRH was railroaded basically the entire way, and it was up for contention as best of show in both my county fair and the Maryland State Fair. My older pieces, the ones that never did well in competition, were not railroaded and they never did well.

OK, I think I have it figured out now

I had me a good long think last night as I was driving home from work. I want to add some effects to Sleepy Hollow. Well, I think I have it figured out. I am going to do the tombstone angel's eyes and crown, as well as the eyes of Ichabod and his horse in glow in the dark floss. In addition, I am doing some of the tombstones and the words in it as well. I had pondered doing the moon and the rest of the angel's face in it too, but that would take some tricky stitching and I don't want to do that.

24 October 2007

Sorta got a rotation going

I need to work on Mom's tabletopper to get it finished for her, so I decided I will work on it from Mondays after work through Tuesday. I did that, starting Monday, and made some good progress. I have the first of the Mayflower motifs almost finished, I have Bibles outlined in all the squares, and I have all the Plymouth Rock things done, at least the ones I think are Plymouth Rock. I still have about 6 squares to do, though, plus the outermost motifs and the nunstitching. But I think if I work steady, I can get through it pretty quickly.

22 October 2007

Making MASSIVE progress on my Sleepy Hollow

I have made great strides on this chart this weekend. I took it to work with me on Saturday, and I worked on the little flaming pumpkin of death in between performances. My boss is OK with it; he plays online games when we're not busy, and he remembers how, when I was interning there, we couldn't do anything and just had to stare out across the road while we were waiting for people to show up to the plays. The other guy I work with was really interested in it, but he thought that I was looking at the picture and picking it off. The box office is not the best place to work on this, though, but I've had more time there than anywhere else this week.

I realized on the way home that I had worked a 56 hour week this week, so I decided yesterday that all I was going to do was stitch. And I did. I wasn't out of my jammies til 5 last night, and I just laid on the couch and worked on this. I did stop to double check my alignment because I didn't want that to be messed up. But it worked up pretty quick.

This chart is not hard. It looks much more difficult than it is. I love how it's looking. This should be so fun to finish

And I heard from my finisher this morning. she found snowman print flannel. There weren't many snowflake prints to choose from, but this should work. I just want this finished. That will be one more fair entry ready to go for next year. I am starting to think I won't have a lot of things ready for the fair. I realize that is silly at this point, since the fair is what, 9 months from now? But this isn't like photography, you don't just whip a bunch of pics out in 6 days.

Anyway, that is for another day's worrying. Today I am just gonna admire my own work.

19 October 2007

Random off-topic thoughts for an October Friday

I haven't stitched much today, but thought I would post a link to this site. I found it last year, and it was pretty amusing, just one guy who LOVES him some Halloween. He has some good posts. Just remember there is some cursing on it. There, I warned you, you know now, if he utters a curseword and you read it, don't get mad at me.

So enough of that.

I finally realized why clowns with chainsaws are the ultimate in Halloween spooky. We were reasoning this out last night. People think I am wierd because I am afraid of clowns in general, but put them in a Haunted Forest, and that is just my idea of hell. People doubt me til they experience the phoenomena with me. I have jumped hurdles with people attached with a deftness that would make Carl Lewis proud.

First of all, it's that floaty hair. I don't like men with floaty hair, or tight curly hair for that matter. It's a personal choice, I don't like it. Then we have the makeup issue and the lack of eyebrows. The ones who whiteout their eyebrows are terrifying--globs of makeup caked in the hair. I think that insults the makeup artist in me. And it's frankly frightening. Then they don't talk, or when they do, it's in a silly voice. You're an adult in floaty hair, cakey makeup, get some pride, TALK IN A NORMAL VOICE. But then again, the It clown talked in a normal voice and that is the reason why I hate clowns. Tim Curry RUINED clowns. But this is why clowns with chainsaws are terrifying. You can't reason with them; a man who ain't afraid to appear in public in makeup, and can run in big shoes with a powertool probably isn't going to debate with you, especially if he ain't talking, just yelling, "ARRRGH" at you in the dark. I always say I could run a marathon if I have a clown chasing me.

Please don't take offense if you like clowns, are a clown, or love a clown, it's just frightening to me.

18 October 2007

Magazine reviews

I had started doing this a few months ago, but I never kept up with it. I am hoping to start doing this regularly. I hope no one takes offense; just like there are numerous people who review fashion, consider this an other view.

Today at lunch, which was a bad idea, I headed out to Barnes and Noble to get my British magazines. It's always a crap shoot with them, you never know when they will get the magazines. And I am addicted to them. Anyway, explanations commence:

I will start with US Cross Country Stitching, December 2007. I am normally not a fan of this magazine. I don't do religious things and I find that they have WAYYY too many religious samplers. Not to mention that their religious verses tend to have LITTLE to NOTHING to do with the design. I have a pic at home which proves this. Anyway, it being close to the holiday season, 9 weeks for you all that care, they have some Christmas designs. The cover design is of the Holly and the Ivy with a nativity scene. It's OK, but maybe not the best choice of the nativity. There are some sweet little Christmas ornaments if you like country angels. Also a really cute design with cats and crocks and boxes. It's cute, stitched in linen threads--no big deal to convert to the regular DMC, though, but the design doesn't match the verse. It says "blessed is he who considers the helpless, the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble." I don't know what is supposed to be helpless, the cats or the crocks? I would probably substitute something about cats. There is folk art design. I don't like it. A design called Hearts and Stitches, really a welcome, but there are some cute litttle motifs. There's a Love & Friendship sampler which is alright. Not my thing to stitch. But it's OK, you could pick out of it for a round robin or something. The rest of the issue is Christmas stitching. There is a nice angel and some small things you could hang, including a bellpull, and a little design about Jesus is the reason for the season. All in all, it's an OK issue. I don't buy this magazine often, because I'm not a country fan--country may match my accent, but it doesn't match the beachy lifestyle I love.

I also purchased Cross Stitch Collection. It's a good issue. They have a beautiful Anchor sampler of wildlife. It has a field mouse. I love fieldmice. And a pic of a Japanese maple tree. My parents have one of those, so I might stitch that. I am not a fan of the Wuthering Heights design. I don't like the book, the movie bored me, I wouldn't want to stitch the picture. But I do have to note that they are doing a Joan Elliott angel next issue. It says it's a masterpiece. I thought the winter angel was a masterpiece too. How many masterpieces does one need to stitch . . . or design? And doesn't that cheapen the word "masterpiece" eventually. And I must say, this was a thinner issue than normal, or at least it felt that way. For $12US, it should be thicker.

Lastly, we come to Cross Stitch Favorites. It's nice this year, it's a Christmas issue, featuring the best of the Christmas designs from the people who do WOXS. Some of them, I have, some I don't, so it was nice. There are lots of designs that could be used for ornaments, perfect for exchanges. I even saw penguins; my friend Steve would like those.

Last night

I didn't get as much accomplished last night as I wanted to. It took forever at the nail salon for my fill because I chose to get nail art. I opted for one of the new fall colors, Russian Navy from OPI. It's a really deep dark blue. It's not one of the colors I would normally choose, but it looked really awesome, and I have to have dark colors because one of the dogs (no, not Chancey or Robbie-do) bit me in the thumb in August (AUGUST, mind you) and I have a bruise underneath my thumbnail. Which they tell me will take two months or so more to grow out. BUMMER. So I am stuck wearing dark colors til at least January because this bruise is nasty. But then again, I like this blue because i can have a snowman painted over it or a snowflake and it would make a killer French Manicure. Anyway . . . so it took a while to get that done. I got home and realized I needed cat litter, so I had to go back out and get that, then ended up stuck at Jerry's picking up dinner for 30 minutes. That annoyed me.

So it was 9 before I got to sit and stitch, but I did good in two hours. I actually started on the Horseman's cape, and the horse has a tail. Yay! I also have to report, I decided yesterday at work to wash the WDW floss I had bought for the project. So, because I was bored, had nothing to do, and, frankly, because no one told me I couldn't, I went in the bathroom and started rinsing. I got a couple raised eyebrows from some women who saw me do it, but they know I am slightly wierd anyway, so opted to disregard it. It was a wise choice, somehow, it never comes out right to say, "Well, I am rinsing the special floss because it can't get wet. I don't want it to run onto my other threads that didn't need to be washed."

I know Weeks runs like an athlete when it's wet, so I wanted to get the excess dye out of this bunch in order to use it. It was an interesting experiment. Pewter, Indian Summer and Eggplant bled all over the paper towels. I was drying them on. When I saw "bled", I mean BLED. Carrot bled some, but not as much. There was very little on Honeysuckle and London Fog. I am glad I did this because I can see, given the size of this, it's not gonna be a two week project so it's gonna get dirty. But it makes me wonder about some of these thread companies. I've used all kinds of overdyeds, hand-dyeds, whatever you call them. Why is it so hard to make them color fast? Caron does it--I've washed Waterlilies often. Needle Necessities is pretty much colorfast--I rinsed the threads for the Winter bellpull and very little color came off. Why can't the others do the same. You can't tell me it's not possible. For a large batch dyer or a small batch dyer--DMC is colorfast, and I've figured out how to make both the fabric and thread I do set. IT'S NOT THAT HARD. You don't even need to do the vinegar deal. I just rinse my fabric in hot water til it runs clear. The thread is a little harder, but you can steam set the color. The threads I did at CATS have held their color and not run. Sorry to sound like a butt about this, but it's 2007, we can set color without using chemicals stronger than vinegar and H20.

17 October 2007

A pic!

This is it, my first update of Sleepy Hollow. This is the Headless Horse

Picked up Sleepy Hollow again

I worked on the turkey tabletopper ALL night last night. I managed to finish the turkey, the pilgrim hat, all the interior border, the little basket of . . .something . . . underneath the turkey, and the blob in the corner that I think is Plymouth Rock. I am not sure. I can't even say it's a quarter way finished because I haven't done the Mayflower yet, but it's getting there.

That said, I couldn't work on it anymore for the week. I pulled out Sleepy Hollow this morning and worked on that. It's my lunch project as well. I must confess, I REALLY like that fabric. I know . . . "Will ya post a picture so we can see what you're talking about, ninny?" Yes, I will post one tonight. I promise. It's kinda embarrassing that I only have a little bit stitched, about half the Headless Horseman's steed, but it's going quite well. I can not wait to see what this shapes into.

15 October 2007

The Truly Tremendous Turkey Tabletopper

Thisdesign is what I was supposed to be working on at lunch. Note I say, supposed to because I was apparently too quiet blissfully stitching at my desk, so people had to talk to me. DARN IT! I wonder if there is a way to politely say to people, "I am stitching right now and do not want to be bothered with your chat about how it sucked the Redskins lost, how good the movie you saw this weekend was and if it really is a sin to buy a knockoff Gucci bag from the man at the Farragut North Metro station." I have my own strong opinions about all of these topics (no, it didn't suck, but it did suck that Dallas lost, I am glad you liked the new Tyler Perry movie, but I am on a budget and won't see it til it comes on TNT, and if I thought it was a sin, I wouldn't have bought that bag, I think it's a far bigger sin to pay $1000 for a REAL Gucci bag), but I wanted to stitch. And when I got done with the talk, it was time for work. Arrrgh

Mom fell in love with Dutch Treat Designs at CATS. She bought three kits for yours truly to do for her. I think I blogged about this before. They aren't all my favorite designs to stitch, but I don't like EVERYTHING any designer puts out. But I do have to say, based on this kit, they are a really good value. We have everything in this package, Anne cloth,chart, two needles (though in fairness, I of course immediately lost one in the couch), all the threads, including the perle cotton for the nun stitch. And it has the directions for nunstitching, which are slightly confusing, but not that much. I pretty much think this is a kit that you can purchase and finish for $35, plus tax and shipping, if you are not like my mother and buy like crazy at the show. Because, really, you don't even have to have it finished in addition to the cost of the supplies, and the nun stitch is really easy to do, so why would you?

I am going to work on this tonight, just to get some headway on it. The only thing I find a titch confusing is making sure the x's go the same way, but even that's workable. I think the people who entered theirs in the fair and got nothing, they probably didn't have their x's facing the right direction. I assume . . .

Finished another square on my afghan

I put the last stitches into Square 9 on my Hummingbird Trellis afghan this morning. It's taken me so long to get this far.

I don't think I realized when I bought the supplies for this project, just what sort of a commitment it was going to be. I can do this. It's just going to take a long time, but I need to focus on it, or it will NEVER get finished. But now I can choose the next square, I think I want one that does not have a lot of backstitching on it, so I don't know if I want square 8 or square 4.

I started the angel from the newest issue of Cross Stitcher yesterday sitting in the parking lot while Mom was in the store. I realize I bought the wrong count of fabric, 32 vs 28, but it shouldn't make a huge difference in the finished project. I am looking forward to working on that one, because this angel is SOOO beautiful. I ordered the braid I needed Saturday night, along with the beads. I tried to get the braid last week at my LNS, but their display is confusing and I couldn't find it. So now I have everything, either on the way or in my hot little hands.

But I think I am finally at the point where I am ready to not buy stash, other than the necessities, for a while. Payday was Friday and usually, I am at the store, or shopping online, and I didn't have the urge this week. I have so many things that I need to do, need to finish, that I don't want to add to it. Not to mention, that, since I started working at night too, I had a strange sense of calm about being paid. I realized I don't have to panic about how I'll get through to next paycheck. I'll be OK. The longest I will have to wait for pay is 14 days now and I can get through.

13 October 2007

For Pumpkin

Here ya go. The design is called Halloween Chorus. It's issue 37 from 1996. It is SOOOO cute.

12 October 2007

Must . . .fight . . .urge

I am sitting here, trying to fight the urge to start JAR Christmas Memories. I can not start another project. Absolutely not. But it's so hard when I've a beautiful piece of cream lugana shot through with gold to work on. It's DELICIOUS fabric. I am a little taken aback because it's over-1 and it's not a small project. But I'm good at over-1 now.

I started reading Sleepy Hollow yesterday. I think it changes my picture of Ichabod Crane. I always imagined him as an awkward person, but he wasn't, at least not according to how I read it. He was more like Jerry Seinfeld in breeches, maybe not the best comparison, but he is portrayed as more like an average guy with a lot of charm, who fancied himself as more than he was. Interesting. I am trying to read it critically like I did in college, I'm rusty at that. It's not as easy as it was back then.

I don't think I had blogged about this, but I have been looking for Sheepish Designs' Betsy for a month or so now. I couldn't find it anywhere. Til I looked at Silver Needle. Surprisingly, they had a copy of it. I ordered it, it came. It has the conversion for DMC, and it's stitched on a yellow fabric, which I have from my efforts to find fabric for the autumn sampler--I bought a lot of fabric for that one sampler that didn't work too well, remind me not to move too far from an LNS.

worked on the afghan last night

I am starting that afghan SAL this week, so I decided to take some time last night and work on my Hummingbird Trellis afghan. I think I made some good progress. I am working on the trellis structure in square 9, and got the rest of it outlined in half stitches, with some of it being filled in. I am sure this is not proper protocol, but I just wanted to get it finished. And it shouldn't hurt the look to do it that way because I only did the bottom leg, so when I do the fill work, it will get crossed in and have the tension be the same, or at least the same as it's gonna be on an afghan. I even got a little bit of the greenery under the trellis started. Anything to stitch other than white. i think I am going to move to the square above it next. I think.

Oh, on other good news, someone at 123 stitch had posted a finish of a black cat leading a band of singing pumpkins last week. It was darling, but we could not find the designer. It was out of an old issue of Cross Stitch--one of the myriad of magazines that came out when I wasn't "into" stitching, dang it. So I have been trolling E-bay for it. I didn't find the design at first, but did find the postcard it's based on. I didn't purchase the post card, because it was going for like, $40, which is a lot of money. But I found the magazine in a lot on Tuesday, so scooped it up. It came last night. And it doesn't look superhard. So I was thinking, as I so often do, that it might look kinda cool to stitch the design, buy the postcard and frame them under each other. I mean, it would not be SOOO far-fetched to have up, since we do collect black cats. i don't know, will have to think on this.

11 October 2007

Ahhh, I got to work on Sleepy Hollow

Have you ever had that project that beckons to you while you are working on other things? And you want to work on it, but can't? That is how Sleepy Hollow has been. I could not work on it because I was finishing the turkeys, and then I started Mom's tabletopper. Well, last night, I worked on MY project at home.

I did start my part-time job. I like it so far. It's a lot different from when I was there before, but I'm a lot different from how I was back then. We got everything done by 8:30, so I was home by 9. And I got to stitch for two whole hours. Pure bliss, I tell you, pure bliss.

Everyone seems to like this project. I am having fun so far. I am working on the Headless Horseman's horse. It's going OK. It's a lot of black, which normally annoys me like crazy, but so far this is not bad. The only bummer is that I thought there were blending filaments that would make things glow in the dark. There are, but none are clear or white. So I may not get to have my glow-y picture. But that's alright. I can tell this is the kind of project that is an accomplishment, even if it's simple, and I can not wait to work on it tonight.

I am in an afghan stitchalong on 123 now. We start tomorrow. I need some support or I will NEVER get that afghan finished. I decided that, until I get some q snap covers big enough to hold the rest of the afghan, I am going to keep it in the pillowcases like they recommend in the magazine. I bought some cheap pillowcases at K-mart--BTW, call me a snob, but I bought a set of sheets at the same time I bought the cases, and those sheets SUCK. They aren't Martha Stewart, but they are really rough-- and pinned it in there. Hopefully this will keep it cleaner than it had been. In case you haven't figured it out, I am not a fanatic about keeping everything really clean, but Robbie and the cats have been lying on the afghan or jumping on it to get my attention, and I am starting to realize that I can't handle that happening for the next however many years it will take to do this.

10 October 2007

No time to Stitch

I meant to sit down and stitch last night, but we had to go to Lowes and it was late when I got home. I gave Mom the SNN kit from this month, I am trying to do what it takes to get her to stitch, it ain't easy, let me tell you. So I worked on her tabletopper for the hour I had left before bed. I used the wrong color the other day, so had to pick out 4 motifs and redo them. So that has slowed me down and bummed me out, but I'm back on track. I reused the thread I picked out to do a turkey, (don't tell the cross stitch police), so we should be OK and haven't wasted too much floss.

I am working on Sleepy Hollow at work. I had to come in early because I am training at my PT job this week, so have to make up time. I got to work at 7:30, so had a half hour to burn, and so worked a little bit on it. It's going to be a big time-consuming project, I see that, but it will be awesome when it's finished. I bought a book of Washington Irving's collected works yesterday--it was a bargain at $6.95--so I am going to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in conjunction with working on it. I've read it before, I seem to remember as a child, I had a little record player and Mom bought me all the old stories to listen to and read in simplified versions. Sleepy Hollow, IIRC, is a pretty scary story, and was probably really sophistocated for an 8 year old to be reading, but I still remember at the end, "all that was left was the remains of a smashed Halloween pumpkin." Ohhh, that still sends shivers up my spine!

08 October 2007

And another new start

I know, terribly scandalous, but, considering I braved our shopping road to go to Michael's today, I think I deserved it.

I started Sleepy Hollow at lunch. I am not far along at all. Perhaps if I had not stopped for lunch, I could have done more, but I did manage to cut the fabric for the center panel and I got it onto the hoop, and did one line. I am using Picture This Plus 28 count Cashel in the color Loch for this project. I like it--it looks quite similar to the color they used in the model, I just dislike R&R Reproductions fabric. When I was at CATS, talking to the dyer, she had another color called Echo that I liked, and was beautiful, but there are quite a few greys in this chart and I was worried I would have to switch out too many colors. I could have done that, but I was worried that it wouldn't look right, and I live in tormented fear of doing it wrong.

A good start on a new WIP

Mom bought 3 kits from Dutch Treat Designs at CATS, and asked me to do them for her. I started one the other night and decided to pick it up again yesterday to get it finished for her. I've done one of their other designs, a freebie that my LNS kitted up as a tiny doily for a Christmas club a few years ago. It was pretty fun to stitch and this is the same.

The one we've chosen is a pilgrim one, with turkeys and a sailing ship. I got quite a bit accomplished last night because it's really easy to follow this chart. The one difference in theory between myself and the designer is that she says it's alright to not have the x's all facing the same direction, and I am too anal to allow that. So it takes a bit of chart movement and position, but I don't mind. Mom has said this would be good for the fair next year. I would like to enter it, but I hope it does better than the ones that were entered this year by someone else because those got no ribbons.

We went over to Stitching Post yesterday. It was First Sunday, so we got a 10% discount for bringing my tote bag. We didn't find much. I got the newest Loose Feathers design, a design for a workbasket, which could be pretty cute. And they were having a trunk show for the Workbasket, so I got a chart called "All God's Critters." Both designs are for over-dyed threads, but I don't think I am going to use them. I feel bad about spending money anyway, and now that I've gotten a part-time job , I don't know how much time I will have to stitch, so I can't see the point of buying expensive threads for these. And I do think that there is something to be admired in the way regular DMC looks. It looks very clean and simple, or at least I tell myself this to make myself feel better about using it.

But, I did cave and bought most of the supplies to do the Joan Elliott angel in UK Cross Stitcher this month. I am not that into angels, but she's really pretty. I could not find one of the braids and they were sold out of one of the colors of beads, but I got most of what I needed and I got a pretty piece of opalescent Jobelan to do her on. The magazine showed her on the new hand-dyed DMC aida, but I really don't think Aida is a good choice for this piece, so I thought the opalescent would make her look really wintry. I don't know when I will get her started, hopefully soon, because she is gorgeous. And I am not a fan of Joan Elliott or her angels!

07 October 2007

Another finish

I finished my little turkeys just now. It was completed 2 years to the day it landed in my mailbox. I have to say, I am really glad to be finished, now I can start something new.
I didn't do a lot of stitching yesterday. We went to Pennsylvania to take some flowers to my grandmother for her birthday. We brought her some pansies. I think she wold have liked them, we found a pretty container at Lowe's. They were the only place in the town we could find pansies. It does seem a shame to put them on her grave, but when I had my talk with her, I told Grammy she would need to send some rain to keep them pretty. So it's up to her.

05 October 2007

Nice try, Aunt B

This is not stitchy related, but stems from her comment on what she got from the Hershey Chocolate World.

I can not tell you what you have been gifted with from that institution, at least not til Christmas. I love you dearly, but I can't tell you that. It would ruin the surprise. But we opened the cow tin, so you probably aren't getting that one, LOL. But they might make more. And it's not far to drive to get there.

You should have come with us instead of going to West Virginia to buy the puppy some girlfriends. . .

But I digress.

04 October 2007

Day 3 of CATS

I realized I hadn't finished the retelling of my story about CATS.

Saturday came WAYYY too soon. I think we could have spent another week at Hershey and it wouldn't have been long enough. We got up and carried all the bags out to the car, then checked out of our motel. It was a bummer, because I realized I can't say when I'll get up there again. And it's so nice. If I had a job that was more, how do I phrase this, transferable across industries, I would think about moving up there. But come to think of it, our company does have an office up near there . . . HMMMM.

Anyway,they were selling the Dazor lights from the classroom for $99, so Mom wanted one. They marked them down from $349, so it was a good deal, and they are nice lamps. She also wanted a stitching frame from Images Stitchery, so we bought that and got it and the lamp out to the car.

Then we were off to Hersheypark. They have a great gift shop there, full of Hershey's stuff. We went crazy. I bought scandalous amounts of chocolate. We had to get something for my brother for putting up with Robbie all weekend. And we bought something for my dear Aunt B. And of course some chocolate for ourselves. I also got a really cute t shirt with a chocolate soldier.

Realizing that our time was running short, we went back to the Lodge and I got to sit and stitch for a while. It was nice, but sad. I don't want CATS to end. I don't want to not have that experience. I loved it. I've loved CATS every year. It hurts my heart.

I still don't have all my purchases put away. It was a lot to absorb.


Oh boy, we have another one:

What are your favorite online stitching supply sources?

I tend to be very selective of who I shop with online. For one thing, living in the DC area, we have a lot of LNSs around that I would hate to lose by shopping exclusively online. For another, I worry that my credit card information will be compromised. I realize that it should not be a huge consideration, because the credit card companies themselves don't seem to care, they just pay the bill and then hike the interest rates up higher, but I don't want someone using my cards. So I tend to be very exclusive in who I deal with.

My favorite online site is Needlecraft Corner. It's a local shop--well, kinda local, in that it's in Baltimore--but I don't like making the drive too often and I am too stupid to figure out how to get to the Inner Harbor tunnel, so I tend to order by email. She has my CC info so I don't even have to give that. Plus, Drema is super nice, and knows her stuff. Our only disagreement is with the Anchor vs DMC floss issue.

Next to that, I use She has a much larger selection of charts than anyone I can order from otherwise, and seems pretty nice. Plus, she hosts the message board I go to, and it's sort of not fair to use her resources and not give her business.

I also like for all my European kit needs. It's very expensive for an American to shop there, but it's a good site and I get tired of stitching the same things as everyone else has in their stash, so it's a good resource. The kits come in a week, and I don't have to pay VAT or import duty.

And lastly, I have Ebay. I know a lot of people don't like Ebay. I don't know why. I find it fascinating. There are kits and charts on there from before I got heavily into stitching that I wouldn't find right now if I looked. I found another copy of the first kit I ever stitched, which I mucked up badly. Someday I will restitch that kit. where else could I find these things? If you have a store with a good clearance section, it's not the old kits and charts, and even if you shopped stash sales, you have to keep in mind, this is stuff people don't like. I find it's mostly baby stuff, which I won't stitch, or the dregs of the old stuff. Not like Ebay-that's business folks in addition to regular people. You can find gems on there. TREASURES. For reasonable prices. Can't beat that.

The exchange ornament is finished

It took me a couple hours to do this last night, but I managed to get it done. It's not my best work But it's still pretty good. I did it as a no-sew ornament. I now have to wait til it dries, then pack it in with a couple other ornaments and some Halloween candy.

I will have to put the pic of what Lorna stitched for me up.

03 October 2007

Something very odd is going on

I don't know if it's the spirit of the season, or if I am just so unorganized or what, but I have lost the fabric, floss, and specialty thread for one of my projects. I took the magazine out of the baggie I had it in last Thursday because I had kitted it up with Anchor and was really not happy with the Anchor, so went to get DMC for it. Now the bag is gone. I know that the dogs didn't take it of course, but I don't have it and I sure would like to know where it went. Eyy yiy yiy.

I downloaded the new issue of Gift of Cross Stitch. I haven't liked most of the newer issues, but this one has a really cool design of an animal chess board. I love animals quite obviously, so this was a good one for me. But I am not buying Gloriana silks-not at 20 colors at $5 or $6 a pop. So I headed off to Michael's last night, bought me all the colors in DMC (there was a conversion) and tried to find evenweave. They didn't have it in the right size, so I bought aida, then realized this morning that part of the pattern is over one, and so can't be done on aida. But I have a large piece of evenweave I bought back in the days when I was trying to kit up the Janlynn Autumn Sampler that I can use. I was thinking about using the return of the Yorkshire to get some, but I can always find a smaller piece for the project I had that evenweave saved for. Not like I'm in a rush to have a project. Especially now that I've misplaced that kit. Where could I have stuck it? I looked in all the likely spots. It ain't there.
Speaking of projects, I am working busily away at my turkeys today. I have most of the wording done, just have one of the turkeys to do and the beading. I think it should be done by the end of the week. I don't know how much I can work on it because I have to work on my Halloween exchange ornament. That was due out two weeks ago, and I didn't send it. But I do have some cute little ornaments to put in the box for her and some little things for my partner. I hope she's not too angry. I had to buy a ruler at lunch today, and I realized it was stupid to try to use sticky board to mount ornaments--it does not work. So hopefully tonight I can get that washed, ironed and finished, and that's off my plate.

02 October 2007

A near-disaster

I have a little Secret Needle Night kit listed as a WIP. It's an older kit, from October 2005. It was one of the things that I was working on right around when my grandmother was killed, and I've avoided doing those things for a long time, because they have really bad connotations. New Birth of Spring was one of them, and this was another. It was in the mailbox when I got home from going to see the Focus and pick out what of her possessions we could salvage, picking Chancey up at the fire department up in Hagerstown. I tried to work on it, but at that point, my mind was in what I call the, "Hmm?" phase, as in, "Hmmm, so this is what it's like to have your safe little world implode, rather like riding one of those playground carousels." Anyway, I couldn't do it, and put it in the boxes in the basement, I haven't even looked at it in two years, but I started working on it the other week. I am trying to be cowgirl tuff, as my darling aunt puts it. I finished New Birth of Spring this summer, and that was good therapy for me, because I got a lot of thinking done, but this was harder to work on. No dang wonder I put it down, it's hard to deal with the death of a loved one while working with Fancy Fur--I know that sounds like I am being flip, but I couldn't do it.

Anyway, I was humming away on it, have one of the little turkeys nearly done, didn't take it to CATS because I wanted to do other things, so I grabbed it up to put in my work bag yesterday, got to work and realized the fabric was not in the bag. The directions were, my work bag was full of the fibers, but no fabric. Well that just made me sick. I checked my car, not there, checked under my desk, went and rechecked the car, thought, maybe it didn't actually get into my work bag and was home, (which I have to admit, even in my mind made no sense because I SAW it go into the bag and even wondered if that was the best idea), and then last night accepted it was gone. I figured it probably fell out in the parking garage and one of the stockbrokers from downstairs took it or else the janitors threw it out. And that made me sick to my stomach.

This morning I walked out to go to work, put my bag in the car, and then, for some reason, looked over to where I had been parked yesterday morning. There was a paper/fabric thing lying in the street. I went over and it was my piece! And it wasn't ruined. I am really surprised at that because it was out all night and there was a car parked in that spot last night, and it could have dripped fluids down on it. It was a little damp from the dew, but otherwise intact. YAY! I am so relieved, but I think this is a message that this needs to be finished before we have any other mishaps.

01 October 2007

CATS, day 2

Friday dawned chilly in Hershey. The car seats had not dried out yet, which made it real uncomfortable to drive even the little bit from the hotel to Hershey Lodge, so we put down an afghan I had in the trunk to sit on. We got over to there, and had nothing to do til 2, when my Nutcracker Christmas class started. We cruised the shopping mart for a while. Mom was in love with a Stoney Creek angel afghan. I bought that for her, but I don't know when I'll get it done, as I don't really like angels, and I can't afford the afghan, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. She had also found a chart she liked at Gitta's so I bought that for her.

We headed down to the lodge lobby to meet up with some stitchers from Texas. That was a lot of fun and an enjoyable way to pass the morning, stitching quietly on the couches and chatting. They were working on designs from My Big Toe, and Debbie, the designer, had come along with them. My online pal, Chris, showed me her Q-snap covers, which I think I may buy as they seemed really practical. They were going on the tour of Hershey, so we got separaated because I couldn't go, so we headed to the stitchers' lounge for a bit of stitching.

My class with Marilyn from Stoney Creek was really good. There were a lot of specialty stitches in it, though. But I figure if I ever get the nutcracker done, I'll worry about those stitches then. It does use the turkey stitch, which I don't know how to do. Marilyn showed me, but I still don't get it, but I was thinking, it's not going to be such a bad thing if I don't master it. I don't like the way it looks--the nutcracker looks like a hippie, dang it--so I may substitute Very Velvet for his hair and just give him a tighter do, or else some other fiber from Rainbow Gallery.

And then we stitched in the stitcher's lounge, from 5PM to midnight. It was sheer bliss. I worked on Summer Ball, by Sandy Littlejohn. I didn't make a lot of progress, but I had a good time stitching it. It's a massive project, and I anticipate it will take forever, but it's back in rotation now, so should be better.

I also discovered this designer, JAR Designs. Their website is, and their designs are neat. I think they are fairly simple, but there's a high impact to them, and I like that. I bought Christmas Memories and Halloween Horrors. I can see Christmas Memories on a gold flecked aida or evenweave. Halloween Horrors will be a harder choice of fabric, but I can figure something out. When in doubt, I guess there is always grey. But I really liked their stuff, and I realize, without CATS, it's going to be hard to see new stuff from them, and that's a little sad. But I wanted to share, because I like their style.
I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls